Lotus already staring down long F1 season
Just getting through F1's first race of the season seems to be the goal for Team Lotus.
Madrid: The Formula One season hasn't even started and it's already looking like a long one for Lotus. This year is unlikely to bear resemblance to last season's impressive campaign when the British team opened with victory at the Australian Grand Prix. Just getting through F1's first race of the season seems to be the goal.
"In terms of preparation, we are not quite ready," French driver Romain Grosjean said at preseason testing. "It's not going to be perfect for Melbourne, or even Malaysia, but we will try our best to improve everything."
Kimi Raikkonen won in Melbourne a year ago to kick-start an impressive campaign alongside Grosjean for Lotus, which finished fifth in the manufacturer's championship ahead of McLaren and within reach of Mercedes and Ferrari.
Raikkonen, who helped the team accumulate 13 podium finishes last season, has returned to Ferrari with former Williams driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela taking his seat. Team principal Eric Boullier also bolted, to McLaren.
Renault's inability to get to grips with F1's new power unit has hampered Lotus' efforts. Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham are also struggling with the French engine manufacturer being their supplier. Renault has warned there are still items to review before the March 16 opener.
"Some Melbourne preparations are incomplete," said Rob White, Renault Sport F1's deputy managing director. "We have cured or found workarounds for some of the problems we had previously identified. New problems that revealed (themselves) as we ran more have added to the unsolved items, and have disrupted running, which is disappointing for our teams."
Lotus did not even attend the first of three preseason test sessions.
"I think we're going to need a bit of luck and all the bits to line up right for us," Lotus technical director Nick Chester said of the team's chances of actually finishing in Australia.
Lotus added more than 120 new parts at the final testing session in Bahrain last week.
"It will be nice if we can get a few points, but if we don't, then we understand that it's a chance to move forward," said Grosjean, who is going into his fourth F1 season. "But honestly, it's not going be a straightforward season for anyone."
- Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte Wants US Troops Out in Two Years, Willing to Scrap Defence Pacts
- India, New Zealand Sign Three Agreements
- Salman Khan's Bodyguard Shera Faces Assault Charges in Mumbai
- Cyclonic Storm Kyant May be Heading Towards Andhra Pradesh
- Donald Trump's Daughter-in-Law Celebrates Diwali at Hindu Temple in US
- Donald Trump Says Would Probe Email Investigation of Hillary Clinton
- Clinton Policy on Syria Would Lead to World War Three: Donald Trump
- Trump Calls Attack on ISIS in Mosul a 'Disaster', Hillary Lashes Out
From Our Network
- Punjab polls: As Kejriwal hobnobs with allies, Congress might just break its losing streak- FirstPost
- Diwali gift for commuters, DND flyway made toll free after Allahabad High Court order - Pradesh18
- Inspiring: Shahdol man, who lost both arms in an accident, drives auto-rickshaw to earn living - Pradesh18